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  • DENVER MAYORAL CANDIDATE SAYS ARENA WILL COST CITY $143M

         Denver mayoral candidate Bob Crider said Comsat's plan to
    build a new downtown arena will cause the city to lose $143M over
    30 years.  Under a yet-to-be-released agreement, Comsat will
    build a $132M arena and $20M movie studio, give the arena to the
    city and pay them $2M a year for rent.  The city and county of
    Denver would let the Nuggets out of its current lease at the
    city-owned McNichols Sports Arena and make road and parking
    improvements at the new arena site.  Crider says the $143M loss
    would come through lost revenues above and beyond the $2M a year
    the city would receive.  Tim Leiweke, president of Comsat Rocky
    Mountain Entertainment, disputed Crider's numbers.  Leiweke, who
    will oversee the arena project, says Crider "made several crucial
    errors" in coming up with his figures.  First, the Nuggets would
    never stay in McNichols for 30 years because of the facility's
    age (the facility was built in '76).  In addition, the city would
    have to spend "at least" $50M to make the building attractive to
    the team.  Other officials involved in the arena negotiations say
    Crider overlooked increased property tax revenues that will be
    generated from the land around the new facility.  Also, the city
    would own the facility.  Crider says "until he sees the
    agreement," he will "stand by his numbers" (Mark Eddy, DENVER
    POST, 3/14)
    

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